Nixa native Christian Overstreet is one of the few southwest Missouri multi-sport athletes who can say he was a preseason Louisville Slugger All-American, played four seasons of NCAA Division I baseball and that every one of his high school and college coaches were inducted into various halls of fame.
Now his career will soon be recognized by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, as Overstreet will be among the Diamond 9 award recipients during the Hall’s Baseball Luncheon presented by the Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company.
The luncheon is at 11 a.m. May 18 at the University Plaza Convention Center in Springfield. (Ticket information is below.)
“I was very blessed to have the opportunity to play under such great and respected coaches,” said Overstreet, a 2006 Nixa High School and 2011 Missouri State University graduate. “These coaches taught me so many things outside of the Xs and Os. I am a strong advocate for athletics and the lessons they can teach kids because I can speak from experience because of the coaches I was able to play under.”
The luncheon also features the naming of Missouri State University’s longtime athletic director, Bill Rowe, as a Missouri Sports Legend and the induction of St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen, Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs groundskeeper George Toma and Mansfield High School baseball coach Doug Mansfield.
The Diamond 9 award began three years ago and honors nine former high school, college and pro athletes who contributed to baseball or softball.
Overstreet was a three-sport athlete (baseball, football, basketball) for the Eagles and earned All-State honors in baseball as a junior and senior. He also was a preseason Louisville Slugger All-American in 2006 and was selected for the prestigious Area Code Games in Long Beach, California.
In his senior year, Overstreet hit .508 and, as a pitcher, he was 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA to earn first team All-State, All-Ozarks, All-District and All-Central Ozark Conference. He also set school and state records for a season and career in several categories, including runs, triples, homers, walks and slugging percentage. He led Nixa to its first COC title in school history during his junior season. He also played football and was a guard on the basketball team, earning All-State in football as a senior and earning all-conference and all-district in basketball his sophomore and senior years.
His dad and brothers helped shape his career, as did hall of fame coaches at Nixa in Joel Wells (Missouri Football Coaches Association), Jay Osborne (Missouri Basketball Coaches Association), and at Missouri State in Keith Guttin (Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, 2015). His baseball coach was Howard Greenwood.
“I grew up as a coach’s son,” Overstreet said of his dad, Mark Overstreet, who coached four sports at Houston High School for nine years and, from 1989-2011 at Nixa, served in roles as defensive coordinator, assistant principal/athletic director and head principal. “Having older brothers (Joel and Tyler), I learned at a very young age how to compete. I still hear stories to this day from former players of my dad’s who tell me they remember me and my brothers wrestling around on the football dummies during his practices or always being in the basketball gym or batting cage.”
At Missouri State, Overstreet played four seasons for coach and 2015 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductee Keith Guttin, captaining the team his junior and senior years, and graduated with a degree in physical education in 2011.
Overstreet played in 130 games, starting in 84. His best year was his senior year in 2010, when Overstreet had a career-best .412 slugging percentage. He also finished with 36 hits along with five doubles, six home runs and 30 RBI – all career bests – and was 12 of 13 on stolen base attempts. He finished with 61 total bases that season.
Overstreet, who spent two years as a graduate assistant for Guttin, is now the athletic director, high school assistant principal and head baseball coach at Fair Grove High School.
“The moral principles along with the expectations for players and my coaching staff,” Overstreet said, “are among the many things I have instilled in my own program and school district that I learned from my dad and my former coaches.”
The Diamond 9s this year are Marin Whorton Cooney (Ozark High School/Missouri Southern), Sophia Alexander Denning (Strafford High School/Drury), Bob Detherage (Hillcrest High School/Kansas City Royals), Bill Helfrecht (Glendale High School/Missouri State), Brent Maggard (Sparta High School/Crowder/Southern Arkansas), Kristen Marshall (Glendale High School/William Jewell), Troy McMain (Willard High School), Christian Overstreet (Nixa High School/Missouri State) and Tom Wilson (Bolivar High School/Detroit Tigers).
An individual tickets is $40, while a head table ticket is $100. A table of eight is $400 and includes associate sponsor recognition in the printed program as well as an autographed print. Call the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame at 417-889-3100.